The Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) was honoured to host visitors from the Tonga-China Friendship Association at Nukualofa on 15th May 2019. Led by Tonga’s former Ambassador to China, Col (Rtd) Siamelie Latu and representatives of Suntech company, the visitors were welcomed by Mr. Paea Tauaika, the Energy Planning and Policy Specialist at the PCREEE.
Suntech is a famous and respected company from China that specialises in the manufacture of solar photovoltaic and the production of crystalline silicon solar cells and modules. Suntech is supplying solar photovoltaic modules to more than 80 countries around the globe, particularly to the European markets. This is their first visit to the Pacific Islands and is being carried out in association with the Pacific China Friendship Association. In Tonga they met the Tonga Power Ltd, CEO for MEIDECC, energy sector stakeholders and a site visit to the proposed solar farm sites for Tonga’s effort to reach its target of 50% renewable energy generation by 2020.
The discussion centred on the PCREEE’s role of accelerating the use of feasible renewable energy technologies in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).
According to Col. Latu, Suntech’s mission included visits to Vanuatu and Fiji where they discussed a potential renewable energy programme as well as investment opportunities in the Pacific Islands. The role of the Pacific-China Friendships Association in partnership with the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) as well as the PCREEE to implement potential projects in the Pacific Islands was also discussed.
Mr. Fang of Suntech noted that after visiting Vanuatu, they observed the urgent needs for increased access to electricity in there and they believe micro-grid energy systems is a solution. He also noted that there is an opportunity to develop a regional programme on renewable energy and to be submitted to the China South-South Cooperation Fund.
The meeting also noted that PCREEE and its partners are planning an energy investment forum at Melbourne, Australia in October, and this will complement Suntech’s effort. PCREEE is looking forward to collaborate with China’s renewable energy industry through the Pacific-China Friendship Association and on areas of mutual interest.